A panel discussion on Monday's NBC Today on President Obama's second term quickly devolved into anti-Republican ranting, with correspondent Andrea Mitchell proclaiming: "It's been so toxic that I think the President is betting that the American people...are really fed up with this. And that it will be in the Republican Party's advantage to play somewhat toward getting something done." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Special correspondent Tom Brokaw followed up by touting how the GOP "lost big time" in the 2012 election and declared: "Now the Republicans are in disarray, trying to organize their party so they have a future. And they're going to have to deal with the reality of that as well. It is a party that is so broken into a lot of parts on the GOP side and there's going to have to be a lot of mending done and then more outreach as well."
New York Times reporter Jodi Kantor graced Sunday's front page with a "will she or won't she run for president" profile of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, "Clinton’s Countless Choices Hinge on One: 2016." Kantor talks of Clinton as "a widely respected figure" of "historic potential" without mentioning the scandal of the Clinton White House, like Travelgate.
Kantor is author of a sympathetic biography of the Obamas, but she has also spent plenty of hagiography on Hillary over the years. During the 2008 campaign she opined in a news story that "Mrs. Clinton seemed to channel the lives of regular women, who often saw her as an avenging angel." This Sunday Kantor speculated on the political future of Hillary, who "may appear to be a figure of nearly limitless possibility."
The New York Times at least saved Jodi Kantor's gushing over Obama until the votes were in. Kantor, political reporter and sympathetic Obama biographer penned the pompously headlined "Now, a Chance to Catch Up to his Epochal Vision," about private dinners Obama took with left-wing professors to calibrate the strategy of his presidency and lauded "the urgency and seriousness that he brought to his role, as well as his frustration that others did not see him and his priorities as he did," a figure "who preferred to think in terms of the sweep of years rather than of the tick of hours or days."
New York Times reporter Jodi Kantor, author of a biography of the Obamas, on Tuesday filed a flattering profile of "hugging" Michelle Obama, "First Lady Strives for Caring Image Above Partisan Fray." Kantor excused the first lady's verbal "missteps" ("For the first time in my adult lifetime...I am really proud of my country") but avoided describing them.
But a couple of other Times stories, including one by Jodi Kantor took a sympathetic and defensive view of Obama-Care that suggested the measure had suffered because of Republican deception and a failure to understand the bill's benefits.
When even a panel of liberal journalists thinks the New York Times has gone too far with its Romney-bashing, you know the paper's descending to uncomfortable subterranean depths of bias. With the lone exception of Jodi Kantor, herself a New York Times reporter, the members of today's Now with Alex Wagner panned the Times for its Home section front-pager about Romney's La Jolla, California, home, "The Candidate Next Door." The story was written by political writer Michael Barbaro in a section that usually has to do interior decorating and other apolitical domestic fare.
"Can I call bull on this?" Nation magazine contributor Ari Melber asked. "What they've done here is taken a campaign reporter who covers the campaign with a really thin, silly story, and then put it in the home section." [audio available here; video update coming shortly]
As the president traveled to the West Coast on Thursday, where in Seattle he said Americans should have the chance to succeed “no matter who you love,” his presumptive challenger, Mitt Romney, and Republican leaders in Congress, tried, with limited success, to steer the focus of the presidential campaign back to the nation’s sluggish economy.
New York Times reporter Jodi Kantor appeared on MSNBC's NOW with Alex Wagner Tuesday and claimed that the Democrats' "War on Women" campaign tactic had been validated by recent actions by GOP politicians. Under a graphic that bluntly stated as fact the liberal opinion that "War On Women Continues," Wagner and Kantor had this exchange:
As NewsBusters reported Friday, CNN's Soledad O'Brien had a completely unprofessional interview with "The Obamas" author Jodi Kantor wherein she mercilessly grilled the writer for having the nerve to criticize the first lady in her book.
Kantor struck back on Monday's Daily Show saying, "By her logic we wouldn't write obituaries because we can't talk to the dead people" (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
In a testy interview Friday morning on CNN's Starting Point, host Soledad O'Brien gave Times reporter Jodi Kantor the third degree over the credibility of her new book "The Obamas." O'Brien repeatedly hit Kantor for not having interviewed First Lady Michelle Obama since 2009, despite Kantor having used Obama's own aides as sources for her material.
In addition, Kantor responded to O'Brien scolding her to "Get Real" earlier this week, which NewsBusters reported on. The CNN anchor had incorrectly claimed that reports from multiple news outlets discredited a segment in Kantor's book – but the author set the story straight on Friday. [Video below the break. Click here for audio.]
On Wednesday afternoon, New York Times political reporter Jodi Kantor hosted a live Facebook discussion on her new book on the Obamas and especially First Lady Michelle Obama. If this Facebook session is any indication, the book matches Kantor’s previous promotional coverage of the First Couple. On Facebook Kantor describes the First Lady as someone “with important ideas of her own about opportunity, access, equality, etc,” who “has redefined the role of first lady for successors...she's really raised the bar for ambitious initiatives.”
Revealingly, when asked about her latest scoops being allegedly used by Fox News and the Drudge Report as a “racial attack against the Obamas,” Kantor emphasized to her predominantly liberal audience how she broke the news about Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s ministry (in a bland story), and wrote a follow up “which I labored and labored over to make fair.” And it was “fair,” at least from the perspective of an Obama supporter.
New anchor Gayle King tossed softballs at admitted friend Michelle Obama on Wednesday's CBS This Morning. King sympathized with the First Lady over how many supposedly see her. When her guest dropped a racially-tinged charge, that "that's been an image that people have tried to paint of me since...the day Barack announced, that I'm some angry black woman," she replied, "How do you deal withthat image?"
During the twelve-plus minute interview, which aired in two segments, the close associate of Oprah Winfrey also especially sympathized with Mrs. Obama over charges against her in a recent book: "I think it's frustrating for her to see so many untruths. You know, I read the book, too....and I'm thinking- well, I was there. That didn't happen, that didn't happen, that didn't happen. And she never told Carla Bruni Sarkozy that living in the White House was hell- quite the opposite is how she feels."
On February 18, 2009, Attorney General Eric Holder threw a rhetorical bomb, calling America "a nation of cowards" on the subject of race. On Monday, the New York Times reported that this caused major gaffe havoc inside the Obama administration. He needed a "minder" to watch his mouth. But here's the funny part: the news pages of the Times didn't acknowledge the speech -- for weeks.
On March 8, in a 328-word piece on page A26, Times reporter Helene Cooper made small mention of a "mild rebuke" by Obama in an interview with the paper.
Clay Waters at TimesWatch noted yesterday's story quickly moved from embarrassment over gaffes to the usual nuggets of praise for Holder's thirst for justice:
Thursday's "Political Points" podcast at nytimes.com featured New York Times reporters David Kirkpatrick, Adam Liptak, and Jodi Kantor talking about the Sonia Sotomayor nomination and displaying various liberal tics.
Kirkpatrick accused Newt Gingrich of "ad hominem attacks" against Sotomayor, while Kantor pondered the Republican dilemma: of possibly seeing "this bank of white male senators grill in a possibly antagonistic way the first Latina woman nominated to serve on this bench." Plus: Sotomayor will "not only speak to the cafeteria workers but she'll speak to them in Spanish."
An excerpt from about seven minutes into the podcast:
David Kirkpatrick: "There's a debate going on within the Republican Party right now over how to play this. There are some, including I think former speaker Newt Gingrich, who think it's appropriate at this time to begin ad hominem attacks, calling her a racist, attacking her sensibility, calling her manifestly unqualified. And there's another school of thought that says, We're gonna lose. They've got the numbers. We might as well have a high-minded debate about how we would approach the law versus how they would approach the law, rather than get dragged down into the mud.'"
Host Sam Roberts: "And also doesn't the Republican Party risk, among other things, alienating Hispanic voters whom they've been trying to hard to woo?"
NBC's Matt Lauer and Al Roker, on Tuesday's "Today" show, revealed they enjoyed a "nice" evening at the theater last night, in the presence of Michelle Obama, as she "dazzled New York City for a second time," when she visited the Metropolitan Opera House. After an Amy Robach piece that celebrated Mrs. Obama's return to the Big Apple, Roker and Lauer bragged that they too were in attendance at the American Ballet Theater Spring Gala, along with the First Lady, as Roker gushed: "It was fantastic!"
For her part Robach joined in the Obama family myth-making as she cheered, "Everyone takes notice when the First Lady is out on the town here in the Big Apple and Monday was no exception." Robach, in her piece, even included several soundbites from a delighted New York Times' Jodi Kantor who enthused: "You look at the kind of parties that the Met hosts and if you look at the top ballet galas in New York they always have big celebrities there, but Mrs. Obama is a different order of magnitude."
History will tell that the New York Times actually endorsed John McCain as its preferred Republican nominee, albeit in a hold-your-nose fashion. History will also tell that the paper began souring on its former favorite "maverick" and moderate Republican almost immediately after he clinched the nomination and becoming the only thing standing between the White House and a historic Democratic victory for either the first woman or first black president.
Even before the presidential race narrowed down to an Obama-McCain matchup, the Times did its best to kneecap GOP candidates, reserving special hostility to its hometown Republican, New York Gov. Rudy Giuliani, portraying him as a racist mayor who exaggerated his post 9-11 herosim.
Times Watch has put together the 10 absolute worst stories that appeared in the Times during Campaign 2008, pitting that historic beacon of hope, Democrat Barack Obama, versus the temperamental, inarticulate appeaser of right-wing racists, Republican John McCain.
New York Times reporter Patrick Healy profiled Michelle Obama in Akron, Ohio, speaking and making calls to undecided voters, in Tuesday's "New to Campaigning, but No Longer a Novice." The sycophantic Healy is quick to put Michelle Obama's "proud of America" gaffe in context and suggest it's a discredited charge.
And the photo caption over a picture of three adoring fans in Akron listening to her speak reads like a "dinner theatre" review from a local free paper:
In a raucous rally at a school gym in Akron, the would-be first lady had the audience laughing and cheering throughout.
Talk about sleazy tactics! Wizbang has obtained a copy of a Facebook e-mail sent by New York Times reporter Jodi Kantor in order to snoop into the private life of John McCain's youngest daughter, Bridgette. Here is that Kantor message via Wizbang (emphasis mine):
September 29 at 7:21pm
I saw on facebook that you went to Xavier, and if you don't mind, I'd love to ask you some advice about a story. I'm a reporter at the New York Times, writing a profile of Cindy McCain, and we are trying to get a sense of what she is like as a mother. So I'm reaching out to fellow parents at her kids' schools. My understanding is that some of her older kids went to Brophy/Xavier, but I'm trying to figure out what school her 16 year old daughter Bridget attends-- and a few people said it was PCDS. Do you know if that's right? Again, we're not really reporting on the kids, just seekingsome fellow parents who can talk about what Mrs. McCain is like.
Also, if you know anyone else who I should talk to-- basically anyone who has encountered Mrs. McCain and might be able to share impressions-- that would be great.
Who needs Fightthesmears.com when you have the New York Times?
Times reporters Michael Powell and Jodi Kantor helped Michelle Obama soften her image in Wednesday's big front-page interview, "After Attacks, Michelle Obama Looks for a New Introduction." The long, laudatory piece was anchored with a large photo, taking up half the upper fold of the front page, of Michelle Obama listening thoughtfully to her husband's famous race speech back in March.
The Times portrayed criticism of Michelle Obama as either hurtful or out of line. Her controversial comment in Wisconsin, "For the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country,"which suggested for many both a lack of pride in America and an unpleasant self-absorption, was dismissed by the Times as a mere "rhetorical stumble," with the implication that the media overplayed it (the Times certainly didn't).
At least the Times did a rowback on its previous false assertion that conservative bloggers had been behind the rumor about Michelle Obama's "whitey" speech, when in fact, as the Times now writes, it was a "blogger who supported Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton" (Larry Johnson) who circulated the claim.
Two campaign stories faced down each other from opposite pages in today's New York Times, one devoted to Obama, the other to Hillary, as they trolled for votes before today's primaries in North Carolina and Indiana. To those tracking the Times closely, it's no surprise who came out with the more sympathetic profile: Obama.
Mr. Obama's struggle to capture working-class votes also raises some unanswered questions, not least the role played by racial perceptions. Many millions of whites have voted for Mr. Obama over the course of the primaries, but his percentage of that vote has dropped noticeably in recent contests.
Barack Obama's Philadelphia speech Tuesday was a transparent attempt to quell the controversy over his ties to fiery anti-American minister Jeremiah Wright. But the New York Times, along with the rest of the media, portrayed the speech just the way the Obama camp would have wanted -- as a transcendent address on race in America, past, present and future, with Obama's long connection to Wright a secondary matter.
It was an extraordinary moment -- the first black candidate with a good chance at becoming a presidential nominee, in a country in which racial distrust runs deep and often unspoken, embarking at a critical juncture in his campaign upon what may be the most significant public discussion of race in decades.
As the blogosphere picks up with talk of David Shuster's remark about "pimped out" Chelsea Clinton, something should be made clear. The media spent the 1990s using Chelsea and Gore kids to improve the public image of the Clintons and the Gores. When someone (like Al Gore III) misbehaved by speeding at 90 MPH, the media covered up. But they used young Al to burnish old Al for all those high school football games he attended as a devoted dad. See this NRO piece from 2000.
It's still happening now, with Chelsea used routinely to warm up Hillary's ice-queen image. Last August, Brent Bozell wrote up a particularly embarrassing piece from Jodi Kantor in The New York Times, treating Chelsea Clinton as, well, a nearly silent American Idol. "We’re told that 'people seem delighted just to watch her lips move and hear sound emerge.' As Kantor described her Jewish boyfriend, she identifies Chelsea as 'a Christmas-cookie-baking, churchgoing Methodist.'”